Thursday, July 17, 2014

Orange Is the New Black

I put my big painting aside for now to make more art trading cards, this time after a favorite show "Orange Is the New Black" based on Piper Kerman's true life story.  All the characters in the show are so well developed and there is a back story on each of them that the show producers let out just a little bit.  It can be pretty raunchy, but it's addicting.

I'm still continuing in my quest to make enough art to trade, but maybe trading is much more laid back in Rochester as opposed to Artzona. No matter, I'll see if anyone still wants to trade with me.  All the artists there are so very unique in their approach and style. That said, my sister in Conn. told me to bring an umbrella.....what?

Two weeks to go......!


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Twisted Alice in Wonderland

With the art event coming up next month in Rochester, it was time to  get busy and illustrate ATCs to trade with some pretty stellar artists who'll be in attendance.  Since I was already participating in a swap in the same theme, I thought I would just expand and make an additional 9 cards to the 4 I had already.  I love doing a more contemporary twist on this favorite book by Lewis Carroll, these characters could be barflys or street gang people.  Some of the characters, like Alice herself, were difficult to do in such a small format so I resorted to doing a twisted portrait of her being a big cry baby.   With 30 or so people attending, I only have 21 more ATCs or other types of art to make.....pant, pant, pant!

Twisted Alice In Wonderland

And last but not least ~ 

Cheshire Cat

Monday, June 16, 2014

WIP ~ Underwater Garden

With this painting, I'm using two of my own photo references to make this underwater composition and switching from watercolors to colored pencils. It's an ambitious piece measuring 30.5" x 23" on 300lb hot press watercolor paper.  Currently, it's in its baby ugly stage right now and will be for some time - it looks to be 25% completed.  After the color has been blocked in, I'll heat up the Icarus board with a blender to burnish the colors so that no white can be seen through.  Can you see the koi fish drawn in the lower right hand corner?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Secret Solstice - Art Junkie

Art Junkie has so many diversified interests, it was a difficult to narrow it down to just a few subjects.  I adore this talented lady and have always been inspired by her Mesa Verde spirit people.  She knows so much about them and their culture.  I wanted to do something to honor her and her love of them, but first is this little gift for her.  She likes UFOs in a whimsical landscape, so I did a postcard of Mt. Fuji with cherry blossom trees just beginning to blossom on a snowy evening.  The only thing missing is Godzilla.

The next gift is my "big" present.  It's a watercolor book (8.5" x 11") of the Anasazi/Hopi Indians, their Gods/Goddesses and the Spirits who advised them along with their symbols, and the San Francisco Mountains and the Blue Star Comet.  The book, along with the subsequent pages, opens from the middle. For the cover, I used washi tape and Japanese book binding with additional embellishment of beads and feathers. Except for the last page, all the pages were painted first, then sewn around the spirit and I left the different colored threads hanging down.  After the book was binded together, I then cut each page, following the stitching line to reveal the next page and so on. I was excited and so pleased with how this came out, and now I want to make one for myself.

Anastasi Petroglyph Cover

1st Page - Eototo with side panels depicting Hopi pottery designs

2nd Page - Tawa

3rd Page - Conchiti

4th Page - Toho

5th Page - Kokopelli

6th Page - Pahana

Last Page - San Francisco Mountains with the Blue Star Comet

Secret Solstice Revealed - Nanner

I participated in my first Secret Solstice on the Illustrated ATC site and was lucky to draw a couple of amazing artists!  Luckily, I connect with both of the ladies and their artwork, so it was a blast conjuring up something for them.  The first partner is a beloved and fun SoCal artist who goes by "Nanner".  She loves spoofs on her favorite idols, and maybe some people would sniff disapprovingly, but I really love black humor.  So here's some of what I have been making this past spring. A second attempt of a lacy Day of the Dead with pearls and rhinestone embellishments, this time on a hot orangey summer tank.

An outline of my hand with a spoof on Jules Winnfield from Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction".

Back in 1973, the Del Mar Fair opened a day early just for private parties - the VIPs.  Ziggy Stardust, who would later in the evening give the concert of the decade at the Sports Arena, was trying out his new persona.  He found a Photo Booth and took some pictures. Hurrying out to get to the limo for the concert, he gave one of the roadies the photos. The photos were thought to be lost and forgotten, but then 20 years later, they were found at a garage sale in a beat up old guitar case and was bought for $2.  Inside, tucked between the lining and case, is this rare photo of Ziggy Stardust having fun and making faces.

I rarely get to do this kind of art and so it was a lot of "merry making" with tongue planted firmly in cheek!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

MTRP Seven - 2014

I love this video of the San Diego Chapter's colored pencil show in Mission Trails Regional Park!  Come see it if you get a chance.  Not only is the venue beautiful and peaceful, walk out doors and hike some of the trails.  The Kumeyaay Indians once lived here and you can still come upon some rocks the women used to grind their food.    

Friday, May 9, 2014

Memory and the Heaviside Layer

"Half Past Bloom" 22.5" x 25.5"  Watercolor
My cat painting is finally finished and ready to travel on its own journey in the art world....yikes! This is my beautiful old cat "Snookie", (1992-2006),  in the role of Grizabella  from T.S. Eliot's "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats".  Though beautiful and full of dignity, she and the roses are past bloom and about ready for the transition into the "Heaviside Layer".

Living in Southern California, one (especially if you're female) becomes hyper-aware of one's age and of aging.  There are so many older people trying to chase after their youthful beauty.  Of course, I wish I could physically looked the way I did when I young, but mentally - I'm so much wiser and happier with life.   I'm now of an age where I should gracefully accept and leave all that behind me and enter this final stage of life of being an "elderly"....yikes!  Of course, I could have plastic surgery and go for that frozen look with the constant updates of botox and maybe some lipo.  But really, when you start doing that, aren't you really trying to say something like this - "Hey there, cute dude, I'm a very fertile, baby-making young woman - go for me" when all the evidence is to the contrary.  It's actually kind of vain and silly when you think about it. And so this is a  painting about reflecting and accepting age and all the transitions for its own sake and beauty in one's life.  

I have a new painting in mind, still on the theme of aging and transition.  This one, too, will have a cat in it but it will be done in in the medium of colored pencils for realism.  I like switching back and forth and trying new things and ideas.

With this blog, I think that I'm writing mainly to myself, sort of like an art diary and that's fine. However, if you are reading this, I just want say a big thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to read and view my art work and process!